10 awesome hair oils to transform your hair
Bring on the shiny, soft tresses you’re dreaming of.
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If you feel like your hair craves more moisture, or your usual cream or styling product is weighing down your locks, you may want to consider giving a hair oil a try. Sometimes, hair oils are overlooked for fear that they will make your style look greasy or unkempt, but the truth is, everyone's hair can benefit from an oil—if you know which one to choose and how to use it.
For anyone with fine strands, lightly apply the oil to the ends of your hair before styling. Folks with coarser or very dry hair can apply oils daily from root to tip to keep the hair hydrated. The key is finding one that works for your hair, from thick to thin, straight to curly. Ahead, here are the best hair oils reviewers rave about for achieving shiny, healthy-looking locks instantly (and a few personal favorites from me, as well).
1. For a shiny blowout: Ouai Hair Oil
Dreamed up by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, the Ouai hair oil is a best seller, thanks to its super-moisturizing ingredients, including oils extracted from plants: ama (to defend against humidity), borage (to tame frizz), and baobab (to smooth). It also helps smooth frizz and adds mega shine, which is why it’s a top pick for blowouts. The only thing that can make a fresh blowout better is bouncy, high-shine locks to follow. It’s no wonder this oil has racked up a rating of over four stars from 738 reviewers on Sephora.
One Sephora reviewer writes: “I use this product as both an overnight oil treatment and a styling product after using hot tools. It leaves my hair extremely soft and silky without ‘Ouai-ing’ it down. Lol. The smell is stunning as well! I have very dense, medium thickness hair and it works wonders for me. If you’re wanting your split ends to be smoothed out, I say give it a try!”
2. For smoothing frizz: Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Oil with Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter Extracts
A quality oil doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. The magic of an oil is all in the ingredients. This drugstore find is formulated with coconut oil and cocoa butter that helps to soften and smooth unruly strands. Plus, the scent of this oil is divine. And even though it’s full of moisturizing ingredients, it won’t feel heavy in your hair. In fact, it absorbs quickly, so you can apply it daily without worry. For a deeper frizz-reducing treatment, try applying this oil and allowing it to sit on the hair for 20 to 30 minutes before cleansing.
One Walmart reviewer writes: “I love how soft this makes my hair and shiny...It smells great and works great! If you have frizzy curly hair, this is the product for you!”
Get the Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Oil at Walmart for $5
3. For repairing damaged strands: Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
You can’t fully reverse your hair’s damage, but this oil comes pretty close. Many happy shoppers say Olaplex works like magic on the hair and helps to rebuild damaged strands with each application. This weightless oil adds moisture to dry locks, but it’s most loved for its ability to seemingly repair breakage from heat, chemical, and brush damage with a chemical called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate.
I’ve used this oil countless times and it’s one of my go-to formulas when my ends are feeling dry. While it doesn’t bring about obvious results overnight, I can feel and see a difference after a few days use. It’s also safe for color-treated hair, too.
4. For curls and coils: Bumble and Bumble Bb. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
It’s no secret that curly hair is naturally dry and needs a ton of extra moisture to have soft, bouncy, defined waves and coils minus the frizz. But as you want your curls to be light and bouncy, heavy oils aren’t what you should reach for. This oil from Bumble and Bumble absorbs into the hair almost instantly, rendering it "invisible" in look and feel. The texture is more like a silky serum rather than an oil. It reduces frizz and even helps detangle.
A curly-haired Sephora reviewer raves: “I have ‘3b’ thick curls, and once I diffused my hair, I took about three pumps, distributed it gently in my hair and scrunched out the crunch. My hair looked and felt so hydrated and soft, a curly girl’s dream!”
Buy Bb. Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil from Ulta for $40
5. For a quick-fix treatment: HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shine Oil
On those days when your hair is just not up to snuff, slather a dime-size amount of this “reparative” oil all over your strands and style as usual. The key ingredient, argan oil, is rich in essential fatty acids that soften, repair, and hydrate your hair with each use. And the best part is, it’s under $3 a bottle.
With a whopping 4.7 stars on Ulta, users can’t get over how transformative this oil is. “This is the only oil I have ever tried where I have not once had the oily, ‘man, I need to wash my hair again’ vibe after applying,” one reviewer writes. “I apply to wet hair after washing and had instant results after my first use. My hair is shinier and more manageable. I have trouble fighting damage, and this oil has really helped my ends not look like a split, frizzy mess.”
6. For soothing a dry, itchy scalp: Briogeo B. Well CBD Arnica Flower Soothing Oil
You don’t have to be obsessed with CBD and its touted benefits—to moisturize the scalp, in this case—to fall in love with this oil. If you have dry, itchy or dandruff-prone scalp, you need an oil that prioritizes scalp health. This one from Briogeo is rich in omega fats and plant-derived ingredients like hemp and tamanu seed oils that help to soothe inflamed and irritated scalps.
Need more convincing? This product garnered a whopping 4.9 out of five stars from over 100 reviewers on Sephora. One writes: “Great oil! Before this, I was using castor oil, which is too thick to use on a regular basis. This oil is very light and spreads easily on a dry scalp. Used it as an overnight treatment and the oil absorbed fully without leaving a greasy residue and helped relieve my dry scalp. Highly recommend it!”
7. For nourishing all hair types overnight: Fable & Mane HoliRoots Pre-wash Hair Treatment Oil
Inspired by ancient Indian hair rituals, this pre-shampoo oil treats and conditions hair before you cleanse. Leaving this oil in while you snooze will give you gorgeous, hydrated locks, thanks to dashmool, a combination of 10 plant roots, which acts as an ultimate remedy for thick hair and ashwagandha, an herb that helps support scalp circulation. It’s also great for those with fine or limp strands, as it doubles as a volumizer.
One Sephora reviewer writes: “I used this before bed when I am washing my hair the next morning. I take my time massaging it into my scalp and weak areas of my hair. It smells amazing and feel luxurious to use. My hair is slowly becoming softer and more manageable. This is not a quick fix but it is worth the time. I will continue using this before washes until my hair is healthier, then I plan on maintaining by using once a week.”
8. For sealing fine, thin hair: Verb Ghost Weightless Hair Oil
If you have fine, limp hair that gets weighed down with oil easily, you want a formula that won’t leave your style looking flat or greasy. Enter: Ghost Weightless Hair Oil. It’s made with bamboo extract to strengthen the hair and retain moisture, moringa seed oil to detangle and smooth hair, and hydrolyzed soy protein to keep moisture locked in. And because you only need a few drops for each use, this little bottle goes a long way.
One Sephora reviewer writes: “I am usually not a fan of hair oils. This Verb Ghost oil is amazing. It adds natural shine, smooths, detangles, and even adds some natural body. I don't find this one heavy or greasy and it does not seem to build up like many other hair oils/serums do.”
9. For taming thick, dense hair: Moroccanoil Treatment
There’s so much to love about this cult-favorite oil. It uses argan and flaxseed oil, both of which can improve elasticity and shine. In fact, this bottle is the reason that argan oil became so trendy—it’s that good. It’s a 3-in-1 moisturizer, treatment, and styling product that works on all hair types and makes your hair super shiny in a non-greasy kind of way.
One reviewer, who gives the product five stars, writes: “I love this product. My hairdresser used this a few years ago on my hair because it’s naturally thick and curly and it was so easy to style with. I've been using it after each shower for about a year now and it totally repaired my dry hair and dead ends. Please use this as a part of your hair care routine. It really helps!”
10. For weak and brittle hair: Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Hair & Scalp Oil
When your hair feels brittle, styling can seem impossible. The first step is to help strengthen and repair your damaged strands for optimal styling. The superstars in this blend are castor and black seed oil, both of which claim to repair and protect against future damage and breakage, so your hair looks healthier over time. And it works for all hair types, so regardless of your texture, you can enjoy this vegan oil without hair feeling greasy or weighed down.
One Target reviewer writes: “This scalp oil is the truth! It keeps my ends moisturized and in place throughout the day and reduces frizz! It also helps with my split ends in between trims. I recommend using this product when massaging your scalp to promote their growth as well as using it to moisturize your hair all over.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.